Once, years ago, I did succumb to the Boxing Day buying binge madness. The concept was still in its infancy back then in, I think, the 1970s if memory serves and sometimes it still does these days.
I went to A&B Sound in Vancouver and bought a cassette-tape player for my stereo system of the day. The concept of using up Dec. 26Th to get more stuff was rare then so the crowds weren’t as intimidating as they are now. Not only are the crowds intimidating to me, but so is the greed.
People madly scrambling to buy stuff, goods, items, appliances and every manner of shit you can bread. Priorities change. We always need milk and bread, but no longer need or want stuff. We’d ideally like to be free of stuff.
Going on that Boxing Day excursion in the big city reminded me of why we were there. We were there because in those days Christmas was some sort of a clan gathering. We linked up with relatives, imbibed with relatives, ate piggishly with relatives – some of whom I knew, some of whom I didn’t and really would rather not be spending break time with. My first wife’s family were big on gatherings because they were Prairie folk. I’m a coastal folk, so attitudes are different.
But, mingling with relatives happened and sometimes it was OK like when did my wife’s baby sister’s girlfriend get such admirable tits. Well, one had to amuse oneself as one could, while longing to go downstairs to the rec room, switch on the TV and have a quiet beer by myself. This stuff went on for years and years. And, you know, I am not terribly nostalgic about it. Of course visits to the Mainland had to coincide with Christmas calls on my parents. Not a huge draw there and make sure we get to their house early enough in the day before mother has gotten too drunk and obnoxious. Bon Noel!
The second time around there was still a huge family connectedness by #2 and her folks and her daughter and I must admit hotter cousins and hotter girlfriends of the male cousins and these people were Swedes so they did Christmas on the 24th. WTF? Foreigners, hey, adapt to Canadian ways, eh? And don’t be dumping your lutefisc on the unsuspecting. “People actually eat that shit?” Swedish meatballs and pancakes, well OK, even with lingonberry sauce. I’m not badmouthing these folks, by the way. Nice people and gracious hosts.
My point is that in the day Christmas was all about family and while I am supposed to feel sweetly nostalgic about all that stuff and the people who are no longer with us, and good times and all, I just don’t really go there so much. As life evolves so do we evolve and adjust to contemporary realities. And that’s a good thing.
Christmas for us is quiet now, I daresay even serene, but mainly quiet. We did, as I hinted at, Christmas Lite with only stocking stuff, usable stocking stuff. No more other stuff. No crappola that will ultimately end up in the garage with the other crappola that is either broken or irrelevant, like the juicer we used maybe twice and then found Tropicana makes really good natural juice that tastes as good as our squoze stuff (which seems to demand about 90 dozen oranges to get a decent pitcher) so the juicer was relegated to the ‘what the hell were we thinking?” category.
So, yeah, quiet. It’s nice. Listen to some seasonal music that hasn’t been overdone to puke-factor everywhere else, but instead particular favorites of ours. Christmas specials on TV, the only seasonal offerings we visited were Call the Midwife and Dr. Who – and, of course, the compulsory viewing of the Alastair Sim version of A Christmas Carol. Other than that it was quiet and pleasant and not opulent and excessive. Just nice.